This post told of the misery of fathers around the world whose children have been spirited to Japan by their Japanese mothers, leaving the fathers in emotional and financial turmoil, because the Japanese courts refuse to recognize their parental rights. Many children have not seen their fathers since they were abducted.
This week, after significant lobbying by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, Japan’s Prime Minister and Cabinet have endorsed the adoption of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, an international treaty that provides a process to return children to their country of habitual residence.
However, it is far from a done deal, since Japan’s Parliament must approve the resolution and experts believe this will be an uphill battle. Of the G8 countries, only Japan and Russia have refused to sign the treaty.
“LAW FIRMS SUED FOR AIDING PARENTAL ABDUCTION” January 1, 2011.
Father Peter Innes sued his ex-wife’s lawyer after his ex, Maria Jose Carrascosa, abducted their daughter Victoria, to her native Spain in 2005. Upon her return to America in 2006 she was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Unfortunately, Victoria, now 11-years-old, still resides with her Spanish maternal grandparents and the Spanish courts have refused to order the child’s return to the U.S.
The U.S. court had given Mr. Innes custody of his daughter and directed the mother’s lawyers to hold the child’s passport. When Ms. Carrascosa changed lawyers, the passport was released to her and she fled to Spain with her daughter.
This week Mr. Innes received a verdict for $950,000.00 against his ex’s lawyer and her law firm. The lawyer argued that as the second law firm acting for Ms. Carrascosa they were not aware of the court order with respect to the passport.
The Court held that Carrascosa’s lawyer was a trustee of the passport despite her lack of knowledge. The law firm says this decision ignores case precedents and is in error, as it expands the duty of care beyond a lawyer’s client to a client’s former spouse.
A 2002 report from the United States Department of Justice indicates that 203,900 children are victims of family abduction every year. Twenty-four per cent of children abducted are wrongfully held for one week to one month.
I say parental abduction is a most selfish act and an egregious form of child abuse.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang